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Fair Housing and Real Estate Advertising

FAIR HOUSING ADVERTISING WORD AND PHRASE LIST

This word and phrase list is intended as a guideline to assist in complying with state and federal fair housing laws. It is not intended as a complete list of every word or phrase that could violate any local, state, or federal statutes.

 This list is not intended to provide legal advice. By its nature, a general list cannot cover particular persons' situations or questions. The list is intended to make you aware of and sensitive to the important legal obligations concerning discriminatory real estate advertising.

NOT ACCEPTABLE

  • able-bodied
  • adult community
  • adult living
  • adult park
  • adults only
  • African, no
  • Agile
  • AIDS, no
  • Alcoholics, no
  • Appalachian, no
  • American Indians, no
  • Asian
  • Bachelor pad
  • Blacks, no
  • blind, no
  • Caucasian
  • Chicano, no
  • children, no
  • Chinese
  • Churches, near
  • Colored
  • Congregation
  • Couple
  • couples only
  • crippled, no
  • Deaf, no
  • disabled, no
  • employed, must be
  • empty nesters
  • English only
  • ethnic references
  • families, no
  • golden-agers only
  • group home(s) no
  • handicap parking, no
  • Handicapped, not for
  • healthy only
  • Hispanic, no
  • HIV, no
  • Hungarian, no
  • impaired, no
  • Indian, no
  • Integrated
  • Irish, no
  • Italian, no
  • Latino, no
  • males(s) only**
  • mature complex
  • mature couple
  • mature individuals
  • mature person(s)
  • Mentally handicapped, no
  • Mentally ill, no
  • Mexican, no
  • Mexican-American, no
  • Migrant workers, no
  • Mosque
  • Nationality
  • Negro, no
  • Newlyweds
  • # of children
  • ·one child
  • Oriental, no
  • Parish
  • Philippine or Philippinos, no
  • physically fit
  • play area, no
  • preferred community
  • Puerto Rican, no
  • religious references
  • Restricted
  • retarded, no
  • senior discount
  • Shrine
  • single person
  • singles only
  • Spanish speaking, no
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI), no
  • Synagogue, near
  • temple, near
  • tenant (description of)
  • traditional neighborhood
  • Unemployed, no
  • Wheelchairs, no
  • White
  • White(s) only

                                                        CAUTION

  • Active
  • Bachelor
  • board approval required
  • Catholic
  • Christian
  • Curfew
  • domestics, quarters
  • Exclusive
  • Executive
  • female roommate**
  • female(s) only**
  • Gays, no
  • Gender
  • Hindu
  • housing for older persons/seniors*
  • Ideal for . . . (should not describe people)
  • Jewish
  • Landmark reference
  • Lesbians, no
  • male roommate**
  • man (men) only**
  • Mature
  • Membership approval required
  • Mormon Temple
  • Muslim
  • Nanny's room
  • Near
  • # of persons
  • Older person(s)
  • One person
  • perfect for . . . (should not describe people)
  • pets, no
  • Prestigious
  • Private
  • quality neighborhood
  • Retirees
  • Retirement home
  • safe neighborhood
  • school name or school district
  • Secluded
  • section 8, no
  • Secure
  • senior adult community*
  • senior citizen(s)*
  • senior housing*
  • senior(s)*
  • sex or gender**
  • single woman, man**
  • sixty-two and older community*
  • Snowbirds*
  • Sophisticated
  • Straight only
  • Students, no
  • tranquil setting
  • two people
  • walking distance of, within
  • winter/summer visitors*
  • woman (women) only**

                                       ACCEPTABLE

  • Assistance animal(s)
  • Assistance animal(s) only
  • college students, no
  • Convalescent home
  • Convenient to
  • Credit check required
  • Den
  • Drug users, no
  • Drugs, no
  • Equal Housing Opportunity
  • families welcome
  • family room
  • family, great for
  • fixer-upper
  • gated community
  • golf course, near
  • guest house
  • handicap accessible
  • kids welcome
  • membership available
  • Mother in law apartment
  • Neighborhood name
  • Nice
  • ·non- smokers
  • # of bedrooms
  • # of sleeping areas
  • Nursery
  • nursing home
  • Privacy
  • Private driveway
  • Private entrance
  • Private property
  • Private setting
  • Public transportation(near)
  • Quality construction
  • Quiet
  • Quiet neighborhood
  • references required
  • Responsible
  • se habla espanol
  • seasonal rates
  • seasonal worker(s), no
  • section 8 accepted/ welcome
  • security provided
  • single family home
  • Smoker(s), no
  • Smoking, no
  • Sober
  • Spanish speaking
  • Square feet
  • student(s)
  • Townhouse
  • Traditional style
  • Verifiable Income
  • winter rental rates
 

* Permitted to be used only when complex or development qualifies as housing for older persons

** Permitted to be used only when describing shared living areas or dwelling units used exclusively as dormitory facilities by educational institutions

All cautionary words are unacceptable if utilized in a context that states an unlawful preference or limitation. 

Furthermore, all cautionary words are “red flags” to fair housing enforcement agencies. Use of these words will only serve to invite further investigation and/or testing.

This word and phrase list is intended as a guideline to assist in complying with state and federal fair housing laws. It is not intended as a complete list of every word or phrase that could violate any local, state, or federal statutes.

This list is not intended to provide legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, please see an attorney. By its nature, a general list cannot cover particular persons’ situations or questions. The list is intended to make you aware of and sensitive to the important legal obligations concerning discriminatory real estate advertising.

* Courtesy of Miami Valley Fair Housing Center


 

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